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tv   Tavis Smiley  PBS  August 30, 2013 12:00am-12:31am PDT

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tavis: good evening from los angeles. with thea conversation man many consider to be the most inspiring teacher. he is the only teacher to be awarded the national medal of arts for his work with schoolchildren. the new book sums up what he has learned from more than dirty years of teaching. -- 30 years of teaching. then we will go to a conversation with grammy award .inning musician chris botti chopin to ric from
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kelly. it does not get much more eclectic than that. we are glad you joined us. those conversations are coming up right now. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. they queue. -- thank you.
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tavis: there is no more important profession been educating students, and no teacher has done a better job of demanding a level of excellence that has earned him a medal of honor. the book is filled with no- nonsense advice for kids who want to make -- for teachers who want to make a difference in kids lives. this year they performed the tempest with a reminder of the of for justice for all. >> get up stand up
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rightsor your >> you were telling me you were with the group of your kids in a hotel room when the verdict in the george zimmerman case was announced. tell me how you talk to kids about that. >> i basically try to tell them there is a difference between logic and what is presented as justice. they are not always together. that is what the students could not understand.
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to keep participating in this country, or he died for nothing. i think it teacher is so important in getting kids to tune in and participate in this country. but it is summertime. >> there are things you can learn outside of the classroom. we into her a lot. even our kids who go to college, they are not prepared. they do not know about life. doing your laundry and managing your time. it is the test of life. that is why my classes so successful. >> that is a lot to ask for teachers. asking to say that we must make it relevant for
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children. i tried to help them learned that every lesson we teach them they are going to use in their life. >> good teachers are an endangered species. i have a chapter called the where you quietly rebelled against the system. the system is too big for one teacher to get them to throw out tests.idiculous
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malcolm x is not on the curriculum, but we read him. it is important for kids to hear. do fantastic literature in my classroom quietly, and one my students do well on the test able leave them alone. if you stick with them you can build a fantastic classroom. this is when teaching becomes fun. that's the secret. stick with it. we ask our kids to stick with it. we've got to set a good example. >> if good teachers are an endangered beasties, what does that say about our students -- endangered species, what does that say about the future for our students? >> it is a tragedy. you hear stories about a terrible kid, but most of the kids i work with are terrific kid.
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they are poor. maybe their families are broken, capable, ands are the reason i like teaching, i discover all these jewels, and with the right motivation they are amazed at what they can do. thing in my classroom i have an army of former students constantly returning from college and high school. kids see poverty and cd -- theyul kids who come cd successful kids who come from other countries, and they are doing really well, and motivates them to do better. tavis: how does teaching a classroom where the majority are poorer, how does that impact your ability to teach them? as you know, poverty impact so
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much of what is happening in our school system. >> poverty is huge. get food oning to the table, and they go to sleep in an empty house. cane is no way that child compete with the child on the west side of los angeles when both parents went to stanford. god bless them, but it is not a level playing field. those kidsork with who have not had a great start in life. up.annot give it does not mean we are always going to win. for me the real failure is giving up. if we give up, what does that say to us? talk to me about the
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kids. >> we are doing shakespeare, and baseballatics, is a very important part of is oneut basically it lesson all day long. you talk about expectations. you cannot flip a switch at 3:00 and say now it is soccer team. this is when you try your best. i always say it is like pregnant see. you cannot be a little pregnant. ither you are or you are not. some are there are a lot of schools where you see these kids sitting at attention, and it might look good on camera, but those kids are not having a good time, and i like having a good time. rule, nore is a laughing. are you kidding me? we laugh all the time. i suspect you must teach
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a little bit of everybody. talk to me about the multi- culture aspect. started 30 years ago, i am in an area called theatown, and most of people are korean. when people did well, people said, of course they did. they are asians. then i had an influx of latin american kids. they did well. kids like to laugh. kids like the joy of learning. when there is a cool science experiment, i do not care where areare from, that kids eyes going to open up. i try to focus more on what we have in common than our differences. >> you like baseball. every time i think of you, i think of the coach at duke. a could have gone to the pros
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long time ago. he could have made a lot more money years ago, and they keep coming after him all the time. the olympic team for that matter. you could have left the classroom a long time ago, made a lot more money, and may be a lot more people. why are you still there? >> i tell the kids what we do matters. if i leave, i am lying. it means it is about me. this is not the race story. this is a book for teachers to help them understand we are frustrated, but there are things to help impact lives. is maybe a little help to help them make the class better. >> he teaches at hobart here in los angeles. is advice for teachers, no retreat, no
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surrender. good to have you. coming up, grammy award-winning .rumpeter, chris botti stay with us. debut, chris botti has established himself as one of the top-selling jazz artists. he has worked with everybody to sting.scott his inspiration is miles davis. he said the instrument should -- is one of the most difficult. here is some from boston.
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[jazz music] tell me more about why the trumpet. the decision i made when i to choose the trumpet, first of all it was the television. suit, and i said, that is cool, and i had a good band director who gave me a miles davis record. i remember the beautiful introduction of my funny
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valentine. it was so radically different from all the players i had heard and played with such joy, miles made it a personal, brooding spectacle. i just knew i wanted to play the trumpet for my entire life. it was that powerful. practice 5, 6, 9, 10 hours a day. >> why you like those suits, i do not know. outfitsim, but those are a little while. lax.ran into dock at
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on everywhere a suit stage. i thought that was good advice. tavis: back in the day people use do get dressed up. tony bennett, that guy never comes out -- part of his style aided and abetted by the fact he is so sharp on stage. in the motown days these guys were so clean and sharp. i think it adds to this, but that is just me. care about the way i look in front of them, the time they have. getting them are babysitters and coming to the shows and spending a lot of money. thatt to present something is a popular show. dressing up is part of that.
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it works for me to pay attention to that area. >> how would you describe your ?ound describe chris botti the sound he has created? >> the records are different from the live show. tavis: why would you do that? miles davis,k at his best albums were kind of restrained most records, the most lyrical. if you total the amount of time miles played on those records, it was not nearly as over-the- top as he got in other records.
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think the average person goes to a concert and sees josh will bell perform. they stand up and say, fantastic. then when they go home, what do they listen to? they listen to chopin nocturnal. they want something that puts them in a romantic lace. -- place. to my show live, i want to bring you chop to the table. listen to the record, i want them to hear beauty most of all. ,avis: what do chris botti joshua bell, and tavis smiley have in common? >> i know this. we all went to indiana. shout out to the hoosiers. dorm did you leave it?
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>> i lived in reed hall. josh was teaching there. i remember this 16-year-old kid pulling up in a porsche convertible. was all that then. he was a fantastic guy. indiana, although it is not the most go to conversational piece when it comes to music -- berkeley, juilliard, it is the largest music school in america. the beauty of it is there is nothing going on in indiana. i am so grateful for that time. i was a freshman and did
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not realize it. reed hall is so close to the music. i did not realize these future great artists were living in my dorms. artists were in those dorms because they can walk across the street to the music school. the fact i waste around so many artists. i should have stuck with lessons. that you do not have in common with me. you stuck with it and got good at it. greatve got some collaborations on this project. >> there is entrée botticelli, .he great mark knopfler i have been fortunate enough, when i look back on my career,
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the one decision i made that aided me more than most is in 1982 when i moved to new york city for the first time, it was the first explosion of wynton marsalis. i really thought he set up a glass ceiling that all the people that play in the same style, i thought they would never be able to penetrate that ceiling because winton has it covered. i am his number one fan on the planet. i would fight you for that. >> i tried to develop my own style. being in paul simon bigned -- band and later my rig being a solo artist force -- for sting,ing
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.hat has really aided me taking elements of jazz and making this fusion of different genres, some of it is classical. how did it feel the first time you played with herbie hancock, given this is the guy who's bno turned you on -- piano turned you on? the crazy moments, a year and a half ago i was andted to the white house, the white house requested i play my funny valentine. was the song that got me into trumpet. tavis: don't tell me you had her be playing the piano. >> herbie played the piano. he has got to be one of the most gracious people on the planet.
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to the sound check, and herbie goes, how do you want to play the song? i said, isn't that like michael jordan saying, what do you want to do? you invented the thing. i will just lay along. there were four presidents there. ande was the president china and obama's and clinton's. .here was barbra streisand playing the song was the thrill of a lifetime. done about 100 shows in five years. you have done 20 of those. >> it is show business. when you meet someone and say, we should do something together, sometimes it turns into lunch.
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she has done 100 live concerts, and i have got to tell you, she is really in. iconic. she does not use auto tuning. she stamped with an orchestra behind her. there are no background dancers behind her. when you have barbra streisand you do not need that. singing, and people are weeping. the place fork is that cosmopolitanism, that .ulture how does being in l.a. versus new york impact your craft? new york is new york. >> i am super lucky.
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i have been on a 300 day world tour. play the most is probably new york. i am going to lay in october, and then we go black to -- we go back to the blue note. i love the atmosphere of the city, and i love being in both places. i think when you reach a certain level you become an international act. scene, they let me play one night a year, and then i am out. >> i am going to remind everyone that your latest raw object is called "impressions."
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i'm going to say good night from .os angeles music]t [applause] for more information on today's show, visit tavis smiley at tavis: hi, i'm tavis smiley. with theext time
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composer. that is next time. we will see you then. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. you. thank you.
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